WHO WAS PRINCESS REDBIRD?

Princess Redbird at the Pendleton Round-Up

In the early days of rodeo, venues would fill program time with Indian races such as the potato stick race where Indians would race along spearing potatoes. As rodeos became bigger and more commercial, the Indian events dropped out. Some Indian rodeo contestants such as Jackson Sundown became famous when they joined the rodeo circuit. Relay racer Princess Redbird of Flambeau, North Dakota, joined the mainstream, but little is known about her. Rodeo folk oftentimes adopted a professional name, so “Princess Redbird” may not have been her real name.

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute is getting ready for the next gallery exhibit, Cowgirls: Contemporary Portraits of the American West, a black-and-white photography exhibit by New Yorker Ronnie Farley. Tamástslikt will supplement the show with local color and some panels from the Tall-in-the-Saddle cowgirl history. We want to create a wall of all local working cowgirls in action—riding, racing, branding, or working cattle. If you have such photos and are willing to lend them on short-term basis to Tamástslikt , contact Randall Melton, our collections curator at (541)429-7720 or Email him at randall.melton@tamastslikt.org. He will arrange to scan your photo and return it to you. August 12, the exhibit opening date, will be here in a minute.

Randall also wants to make an island of memorabilia about cowgirls, such as awards, buckles, spurs, hats, so he is also asking for short-term loans of such items. Cowgirls should be a fun show. It will be here from August 12 til October 9.

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